It certainly is a great time of year and there are not too many better ways to spend time than on our great Lake Macquarie wetting a line.
The water is up over 20° now and the fishing is picking up as well.
With the longer daylight hours and the warm days there is no excuse not to be out having a fish.
There is plenty on offer at the moment with bait anglers, lure anglers and offshore angler all scoring good catches.
The lake is in great condition these days and the offshore waters are coming alive with baitfish, so it’s pretty well all on offer for the next six months.
The lake really turns it on from November with cracking bream to 40cm being pulled off the flats, mulloway around in good numbers and some very good bags of flathead also.
There are bream in very good numbers around the sand islands at the moment and shallow-running or surface lures are doing most of the damage.
There have also been good numbers of bream coming from Myuna Bay and other similar bays.
Working blades and soft plastics over the cockle beds is a great way of putting a few fish in the livewell, too.
Bait fishos are also getting into the thick of it with the bream. Anchoring up and laying out a good berley trail has been the key to success.
Some good bream bags have been coming from the Belmont Bay area with salted pilchards and mullet strips the preferred baits.
Flathead continue to be caught in good numbers throughout Lake Macquarie and there are plenty of good places to try for a feed of fresh flattie fillets.
During the warmer months the fish will generally not be as deep as they are over Winter so now is a great time to start working the shallower bays.
There are plenty of 40cm-50cm flathead around at the moment and some real big girls in with them. Just remember to let the big females go because it is extremely important to do so if we want to keep the lake fishing as well as it is these days.
Bait fishing in 2m-4m closer to the edges of the lake, and particularly around drop-offs, is the key to success over the next few months.
Deep-diving hardbodies and other lures that stir up the bottom in their travels will do the trick to attract flathead.
Generally through the warmer months I find brighter colours on my hardbodies lures work well on flathead.
November is usually the beginning of great things in our lake if you like to target some solid fish.
The yellowtail kingfish start to make their way into the lake from November onwards and although things won’t fully kick into gear for another month or so, there is still a real chance at a solid early season king.
Try working the marker buoys around the Drop-over and around the yacht moorings in some of the deeper sections of the lake.
Live squid is one of the best options and live yellowtail or fresh squid are also great choices.
Lures are also very successful on the lake kingfish population. Flicking 5” soft stickbaits plastics around the same areas will have you in with a good chance.
Offshore anglers also have plenty to look forward to.
Those that don’t like to venture too far out are in luck. There are solid kingfish on offer from Moon Island down Catherine Hill Bay and Bird Island.
There are generally loads of undersized rats to get through before you find a big one but they will keep you entertained until you do, that’s for sure.
Unweighted baits such as pilchard halves are very successful if you want to tangle with kingfish and strips of fresh squid also work very well.
A good way to locate the fish is to set a pattern of just two lures and troll from Moon Island south to Bird Island.
It’s a good idea to troll as close as you safely can to the rocky shore on the day, depending on sea conditions. A deep-diving lure and a small skirt style lure would be my pick.
Offshore currents are starting to kick in and sea temps are on the rise and will be expected to continue jump over coming months.
This will usually mean a large increase in baitfish numbers and thick balls of slimy mackerel and the like will start to be encountered.
With them will be marlin, hopefully loads of them. Again, it is probably a month or so until the game fishing really starts to kick into gear but from now is a great time to start looking for that early season billfish.
There should be the odd mahimahi around as well and as a rule the early season fish are generally crackers. They are usually stumbled across as by-catch when pulling a spread of lures for marlin but they are certainly a welcome and very tasty.Reads: 1157